Are Culturally Specific Measures of Trauma-Related Anxiety and Depression Needed? The Case of Sri Lanka

Psychological Assessment, Forthcoming

36 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2012

See all articles by Nuwan Jayawickreme

Nuwan Jayawickreme

University of Pennsylvania

Eranda Jayawickreme

Wake Forest University

Pavel D. Atanasov

Pytho LLC

Michelle Goonasekera

University of Peradeniya

Edna B. Foa

University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: February, 20 2012

Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that psychometric instruments incorporating local idioms of distress predict functional impairment in a non-Western, war-affected population above and beyond translations of already established instruments. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted on the War-Related Psychological and Behavioral Problems section of the Penn/RESIST/Peradeniya War Problems Questionnaire (PRPWPQ), a measure that incorporates local idioms of distress, using data from 197 individuals living in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. Three subscales - Anxiety, Depression and Negative Perception – were identified. Regression analyses were conducted to test whether these three subscales better predicted functional impairment than the PTSD Symptom Scale (PSS) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), both widely used self-report measures of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, respectively. Two of the three subscales from the PRPWPQ – anxiety and depression - were significantly associated with higher rates of functional impairment after controlling for age, the PSS and the BDI. After the inclusion of PRPWPQ, the PSS and the BDI did not significantly contribute to the final regression model predicting functional impairment. These findings suggest that the scores of measures with local idioms of distress have incremental validity in non-Western war-affected populations, predicting functional impairment above and beyond translations of established self-report measures that have been developed in the Western world.

Keywords: depression, anxiety, assessment, development

Suggested Citation

Jayawickreme, Nuwan and Jayawickreme, Eranda and Atanasov, Pavel D. and Goonasekera, Michelle and Foa, Edna B., Are Culturally Specific Measures of Trauma-Related Anxiety and Depression Needed? The Case of Sri Lanka (February, 20 2012). Psychological Assessment, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2008501

Nuwan Jayawickreme (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Eranda Jayawickreme

Wake Forest University ( email )

2601 Wake Forest Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
United States

Pavel D. Atanasov

Pytho LLC ( email )

866 President Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215
United States
7173335045 (Phone)
11215 (Fax)

Michelle Goonasekera

University of Peradeniya ( email )

Peradeniya
Sri Lanka

Edna B. Foa

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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